The corn palm plant is also known as mass cane and by the Latin name Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana'. It has a tall unbranched stem with large yellow and green leaves which resemble corn foliage. It does have yellow flowers, but blooming is rare and only happens once or twice during the plant's lifetime. Corn plants are perennials which require little care.
Place your corn plant in an area where it can accommodate the plant's dimensions of up to 20 feet (6m) in height when mature. You can prune the plant by pulling out the very centre of new growth of the plant. Never lift the plant by its canes which can cause damage to the root system. Also, keep an eye out for signs the plant has become top heavy which can happen due to the small shallow root system. If this does occur, support the cane by wedging a small object between it and the pot to keep the plant upright.
Corn plants are resistant to insects, but if you see bugs or mites, spray a mixture of water and dish soap over the plant. Leaf spot disease caused by fungi may also develop, causing round raised halos. Contact your local nursery for fungicides formulated for this plant.
One very important note: This houseplant is poisonous when ingested, so you should keep it away from pets and children.
Use a loose soil mixed with peat that allows for good drainage. Apply liquid fertiliser once a month during summer. Some corn plants come pre-planted in a Hawaiian lava rock potting medium, which helps to prevent root rot.
Water thoroughly once every seven to 10 days or when the soil is dry to the touch approximately 1 inch deep into the soil. Be sure to place the water near the base of each cane so that roots can absorb the water. If the leaves of your plant begin to drop or turn yellow, you might be overwatering it. On the flip side, if you see wrinkling on the green stem where it joins the cane, it's probably suffering from dehydration.
Place your corn plant in indirect light, avoiding full sun. If the light is too low, the leaves will fade and lose their brilliant green colour, but if exposed to too much light, the leaves may become bleached. Keep the plant away from drafts and maintain a temperature of within a range of 15.5 to 26.6 degrees C.
Propagate your corn plant from seeds or cane cuttings. To use seeds, collect them from the dried pods and place in a soil with potting medium. To use cuttings, cut a piece of stem without leaves and plant it into soil, and it should root within two to three weeks.
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